One of the great innovators of modern art, the Russian Wassily Kandinsky opened the way to non-figurative painting; even now his work continues to influence young painters. At home in Russia his main visual influences had been icons and the na.ve paintings and decorations on furniture of local craftsmen. At first, studying in Munich, he painted rather academic pictures, but as he progressed his colors became more violent - no longer the colors of nature, but the colors that seemed to grow out of the feelings aroused by the subject he was seeking to paint. One evening Kandinsky returned to his studio in twilight. Against his easel stood a marvelous painting, full of brilliant forms and enchanting colors. Who could have made it? Looking closely, he realized it was one of his own landscapes, which had fallen on its side. 'Now I know for certain,' he wrote in great excitement, 'that the object spoiled my pictures.' Then began the search for symbols - for example, three parallel lines bent near the top represent three horses pulling a Russian sledge. The symbolic line takes the place of the object. Colors and lines alone remain. Only a genius could have been so inspired by a simple accident, thereby revolutionizing art and giving birth to abstract painting.


'...has the rare quality of knowing how to present the pictures within their own context.'UNESCO


Silver Lion, Venice
Bronze Medal, Brussels
Outstanding Merit, Berlin
First Prize, Cultural Film, Mannheim International
Recognition, Mannheim
Diplome d'Honneur, Cannes
Highly Commended, German Center for Film Classification


Director: HG Zeiss
Narration: Susanne Carwin
Original music: Winfried Zillig: :

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Catalog number #500

15 minutes Color

Age Range: 12 to Adult

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